Zhibin Gu: China's corruption: self-appointed govenmet vs global financial crisis
Is 21st century a Chinese century? Not really, according to provocative Chinese thinker George Zhibin Gu. Why? China remains to be trapped by a untamed bureaucratic power, totally corrupt and deadly troublesome. Get informed analysis and knowledge from leading scholars and journalists of World Association of International Studies at Stanford University.
China's Self-appointed Communist Bureaucracy Remains the Nation's Source of Deadly Troubles
by George Zhibin Gu
(author of several new books: 1. China's global reach, 2. China and the new world order, and 3. Made in China.)
George Zhibin Gu responds to Tor Guimaraes's question of 25 April:
Tor has raised an interesting issue on the possibility of a fast-expanding Chinese middle class, which could help to sustain a positive domestic Chinese economy, independent of global financial crises in the future.
My feeling is this: A further expansion of a Chinese middle class is relevant, but there are deeper issues. First, China's global economic connections and trade are fundamental to the nation's growth, which will be even more significant as time passes. At the same time, there is no way for China to distance itself from any troubles in the global marketplace for now or in the future.
Second, an even more relevant issue is at home: That is, China's healthy social and economic development must be based on turning the government body from self-serving to a service provider. This issue is far from resolved as of today. Its failure would cause more harm, infinitely bigger than the adverse impacts of global financial crisis.
The following interview may shed some light on this deeper issue:
Heart of China's Problems
1. Question: What do you think is the biggest challenge for China today-both politically/economically and socially?
Answer from George Zhibin Gu: The government is no service provider. As such, there is no way to establish a law-based, fair modern society as well as modern organizations and businesses. In short, people's power remains weak. What is more, all market deals are turned into bureaucratic dealings.
2. Question: Is China (meaning a) the Government and b) the People) aware of the huge potential, which China has and will have in the global business world?
Answer: True, both parties are well aware of the giant potentials in the global marketplace. But China's government remains self-serving. So that whatever it does must benefit itself above all, which happens at the very expenses of society and people. At this time, all things in the society and business world remain twisted.
3. Question: You presented the 3 elements that "pulled China out of the mud"-what will China need for the next 10 years to actually be as successful as the theories suggest?
Answer: One leg is out of the mud, while the other leg remains in the mud. Getting the other leg out of the mud will be the focus of the next decade. Further analysis exists in my books.
4. Question: And finally, some statistics suggest that China will need 1.2 million (trained and partly English-speaking) staff in the Hospitality Industries (tourism, hotels, gastronomy, meetings industry). It's called the "war for talent." How long will it take to actually have those needed 1.2 million new hospitality staff in place and successfully working?
Answer: More experienced international managers and staffs are badly needed. For inbound travel has been skyrocketing, but services remain narrowly minded. For example, the domestic tourism industry remains inexperienced to provide extensive services to the sophisticated corporate and business travel communities from the outside world. In this regard, more experienced and knowledgeable international marketing and service professionals are badly needed. But at the staff level, Chinese employees would do provided that they get trained.
Part II. Origins of China's corrupt government
George Zhibin Gu of China writes further on the method of terror adopted by "Legalists" vs. Communists and therefore pinpoints on the origins of China's corrupt political system of today:
1. Using terror as a means of governance for the rulers is a basic practice of the "Legalists." One of the most famous Legalists is Li Si, prime minister of Qin dynasty that unified China over 2,200 years ago, after five centuries of chaos and civil wars, but collapsed
within a decade after establishing the first most powerful centralized bureaucracy over the entire nation.
2. Li's basic method was to produce a common terror to be uniformly applied to the citizen body, therefore a set of "law." It includes the following:
1. Ban all free travel.
2. Burn all provocative books.
3. Kill learning, thinking and scholars.
4. Guilt by association: a person's guilt implies that his loved ones, relatives, friends, colleagues, and even neighbors and students are equally guilty. So that no citizen dared to speak up freely against
5. Ban all independent associations and organizations: so that the government has become the only thing in the society.
The above methods of terror were widely used in the era and ever since, but Li and his fellow Legalists gave them a philosophical argument in support of it.
3. Li was promoted to the highest post by the "first emperor" of Qin, but the next emperor wanted to get rid of him. He ran away. Yet, he could not travel far, as travelers must hold a government permit. What
is more, all his family members, many relatives, students, personal staffs, and even servants were killed along with him, a result of his "invention" of guilt by association.
4. In China's communist era, the same built-in problems persist. Let me focus on the differences between Mao and Liu Shaoqi, the second most
powerful communist in 1943-66, as an example.
For example, Liu favored allowing capitalists to exist longer, to ensure that their skills could deliver more eggs to the government, which was the very motive of the government in the first place.
But Mao favored eliminating all capitalists and managerial people, so that the Communists could most directly extract eggs from the population.
Mao won. For example, within 13 days of the Communist victory in Shanghai in May 1949, the new regime destroyed the Shanghai Stock Exchange and arrested over 2,000 bankers and investors in just one raid.
How many eggs did such raids produce for the rulers? Not to mention other things, Jiang Qing, wife of Mao, got four mansions in Shanghai alone, though her principal residence was in Beijing. But the Communist monopoly over China's wealth, markets, organizations and institutions immediately gave rise to a record famine, killing some 50 million people, not to mention about the record number of deaths by
violence. What is more, this grand economic failure led to three rounds of bureaucratic wars for the next two decades.
5. By the start of cultural revolution in 1966, the third bureaucratic war, Liu immediately fell to the ground. What is more, Liu's wife, mother-in-law, and brothers-in-law were all arrested. But that was the smallest part of the big picture: over 20,000 additional people, ex-teachers, school mates, colleagues, and neighbors of Liu and his wife were victimized. Many of them simply perished.
6. This group of Communist victims was only a drop in the ocean in view of the record bloodshed of the era.
For information about the World Association of International Studies (WAIS), and its online publication, the World Affairs Report, read its homepage by simply double-clicking on: http://wais.stanford.edu/
John Eipper, Editor-in-Chief, Adrian College, MI 49221 USA
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